Tuesday, June 20, 2006

Friends of Soccer Joins Hands With Chinese Community On New Whitecaps Stadium

Grassroots Pro-Stadium Group Invited to Chinatown Night Market

Friends of Soccer, a grassroots movement that supports the proposed Whitecaps Stadium, announced today that they've accepted a generous offer from Vancouver's Chinese Community to participate in the Chinatown Night Market. Friends of Soccer will appear with their "Build The Stadium Now!" banner at the Chinatown Night Market on Saturday, June 24, from 6:30 PM - 11:30 PM. The banner currently has over 3000 signatures from citizens who support the Whitecaps stadium.

"We're honoured to be invited to meet with the people of Chinatown. They have been enthusiastic and generous with their support for the stadium from the start," said Friends of Soccer founder Bill Currie. "Just as our sport unites the people of the world, the Whitecaps Stadium will do the same for our communities. For Vancouver to continue to thrive, we need to have venues that truly reflect the diversity and inclusiveness of our city. We sincerely hope the Whitecaps Stadium will be the first of many."

The Chinese community has strongly endorsed the Whitecaps Stadium proposal through letters of support to the Mayor and City Council. Below are excerpts from letters written to council by the Vancouver Chinatown Merchants Association, S.U.C.C.E.S.S., and the Chinatown Business Improvement Association. (Used with permission)

"Both the City of Vancouver and ourselves have been and continue to be endeavouring on the revitalization of Chinatown and Gastown. We believe this project will serve as a catalyst for the revitalization process. You would concur that for many years, we have been exploring ideas of creating a safe passage for pedestrians to travel between Chinatown and Gastown; a stadium would be the ideal connector since in addition to hosting sporting events, it can also host cultural events." (VCMA)

"We believe the stadium proposed for the west side of Gastown is ideal both in location and its proximity to our Chinatown area and many key areas of Vancouver. The access to public transit, the views of the mountains and water, the interesting heritage of Gastown and Chinatown make this a very favourable destination. As in all major projects, we are certain that the technical aspects can be worked out as the process continues. It will be a world class facility that will make Vancouver very proud." (S.U.C.C.E.S.S.)

"Let's use this generous and fortunate offer to everyone's advantage. Let's build a facility that can capture the energy and spirit of our diverse and wonderful city". (Chinatown BIA)

Friends of Soccer is a grassroots movement that supports soccer projects as well as the Whitecaps Waterfront Stadium. Bill Currie and the Friends of Soccer (www.friendsofsoccer.org) urge all citizens of Vancouver to continue to write, phone and visit City Hall on June 27th to make their voices heard.

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